The Premier Badminton League (PBL) has shaped up into an enticing contest and it all comes down to the last league match between Bengaluru Raptors and Chennai Smashers as to how the top-4 will look ahead of the semi-finals stage.
With defending champions Hyderabad Hunters comfortably poised at the top of the table, Friday's clash between Bengaluru and Chennai will be critical to decide how the remainder of the top 4 looks.
Awadhe Warriors currently occupy the second position with 20 points, followed closely by Mumbai Rockets at third with 19 points.
With the Rockets finishing all their league matches, the Bengaluru Raptors, who play their second home game at the city's Kanteerava stadium thus have a chance to climb up the table and seal a top 3 finish ahead of the semi-finals.
Coming on the back of a 5-0 thumping over second-placed Mumbai Rockets, the Kidambi Srikanth-led side will be attempting to win the match without dropping any points and gain a top 3 entry.
Speaking on the eve of Friday's clash, Bengaluru skipper Kidambi Srikanth said: "This game is extremely crucial for us. If we manage to win with a good margin, we can break into the top3. The team has been training really hard and we are currently focused on achieving that."
Chennai, on the other hand, also have an outside chance of making it to the knockout stages. Placed 6th with 13 points, a 6-(-1) win over Bengaluru can well consolidate their spot in the semis.
Known for being the table crashers, the Chennai team will once again fancy an opportunity as they prepare to come full throttle when they take on the hosts.
With the likes of Parupalli Kashyap and Rajiv Ouseph in the lineup, the Chennai Smashers appear a lethal force, but will have their work cut out if they fancy a chance of making it to the knockout stage of the PBL season 4.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)